Perennial grasses are touted as sustainable feedstocks for energy production. Such benefits, however, may be offset if excessive nitrogen (N) fertilization leads to economic and environmental issues. Furthermore, as yields respond to changes in climate, nutrient requirements will change, and thus guidance on minimal N inputs is necessary to ensure sustainable bioenergy production.
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Practicing agriculture decreases downstream water quality when compared to non-agricultural lands. Agricultural watersheds that also grow perennial biofuel feedstocks can be designed to improve water quality compared to agricultural watersheds without perennials. The question then becomes which conservation practices should be employed and where in the landscape should they be situated to achieve water quality objectives when growing biofuel feedstocks.
Advanced biomass feedstocks tend to provide more non-fuel ecosystem goods and services (ES) than 1st-generation alternatives. We explore the idea that payment for non-fuel ES could facilitate market penetration of advanced biofuels by closing the profitability gap. As a specific example, we discuss the Mississippi-Atchafalaya River Basin (MARB), where 1st-generation bioenergy feedstocks (e.g., corn-grain) have been integrated into the agricultural landscape.
Ecological disturbances are occurring with greater frequency and intensity than in the past. Under projected shifts in disturbance regimes and patterns of recovery, societal and environmental impacts are expected to be more extreme and to span larger spatial extents. Moreover, preexisting conditions will require a longer time to re‐establish, if they do so at all. The word “unprecedented” is appearing more often in news reporting on droughts, fires, hurricanes, tsunamis, ice storms, and insect outbreaks.
Policy makers are interested in estimates of the potential economic impacts of oil price shocks, particularly during periods of rapid and large increases that accompany severe supply shocks. Literature estimates of the economic impacts of oil price shocks, summarized by the oil price elasticity of GDP, span a very wide range due to both fundamental economic and methodological factors. This paper presents a quantitative meta-analysis of the oil price elasticity of GDP for net oil importing countries, with a focus on the United States (US).
Several crops have recently been identified as potential dedicated bioenergy feedstocks for the production of power, fuels, and bioproducts. Despite being identified as early as the 1980s, no systematic work has been undertaken to characterize the spatial distribution of their long‐term production potentials in the United states.
We explore the role of biofuels in mitigating the negative impacts of oil supply shocks on fuel markets under a range of oil price trajectories and biofuel blending mandate levels. Using a partial equilibrium model of US biofuels production and petroleum fuels trade, we discuss the adjustments in light‐duty vehicle fuel mix, fuel prices, and renewable identification number (RIN) prices following each shock as well as the distribution of shock costs across market participants. Ethanol is used as both a complement (blend component in E10) and a substitute (in E15 and E85 blends) to gasoline.
The ongoing debate about costs and benefits of wood‐pellet based bioenergy production in the southeastern United States (SE USA) requires an understanding of the science and context influencing market decisions associated with its sustainability. Production of pellets has garnered much attention as US exports have grown from negligible amounts in the early 2000s to 4.6 million metric tonnes in 2015. Currently, 98% of these pellet exports are shipped to Europe to displace coal in power plants.
Wood pellet exports from the Southeastern United States (SE US) to Europe have been increasing in response to European Union member state policies to displace coal with renewable biomass for electricity generation. An understanding of the interactions among SE US forest markets, forest management, and forest ecosystem services is required to quantify the effects of pellet production compared to what would be expected under a reference case or ‘counterfactual scenario’ without pellet production.
Published in Bioenergy and Land Use Change (pp. 141–153). John Wiley & Sons, Inc.